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Fermented / Pickled Olives

Hello Guys,
I just would like to share this amazing recipe of fermented/pickled olives. It is easy and 100s of years old. I always ate it at my friend’s houses but never made it. This year we have a great harvest of olives and I made two jars and will do a lot more in the coming days. It is easy and there is no need to soak th oilves in water and change the water, etc.


Wash the oilves, remove all leaves and stalks. Then put some unpeeled garlic cloves in the bottom on a galss jar and some stalks of wild fennel (if don’t have normal fennel will do I guess) generous amount of good salt, then olives. Keep repeating layer after layer till the end. You Must leave a head space. Then seal and put in a cool dark place for 2 days. dont forget to burp the jars. The third day you will see a lot of liquid in the jars, so you have to shake the jars few times a day. for about 20 days (untill they are done) The last few days you can add orange and lemon peels. Then you remove the water and put in smaller jars and in the fridge. You can marinate the olives with hot sauce and fresh garlic and caraway seeds and olive oil, etc. So delicious.

This year we have a good harvest of olives so I will be doing tons of those.
First photo: taken 6 days ago when I made them. Second photo: this morning. Notice how they changed colour.

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Part two is easy, after 15 or 20 days you add organic orange peel to each jar and flip as usual 3 or 4 times a day. I should have added the peel about a week ago but I couldn’t get my organic oranges, so I had to wait ( I get 10 kilos every month from the co-op I’m a member with. They get them from a small organic farm in Sicily). Please if you can not find organic orange, do NOT use non organic because you will be mixing pesticides with your olives.

Anyway, orange peel are optional but they give the olives a lovely smell and taste, yet they do not intervene with the real taste of the olives.

Photo number 2 shows how you should hold the jar when you flip/shake the olives to have them covered in their brine. One hand on each side and flip, flip, until all olives are covered in their juice. You should do this from Stage one.

part2a part2b

In Part 3: I will show you how to know when your olives are ready and how to store them in a lot of olive oil or just a little forever. (there is a special technique when you use little oil)

Note: these are the olives I did first time; the rest still not ready for the orange peel.


When the olives are ready (after stage one and Two), you need to preserve them. You will know that they are ready by tasting them and the clour inside is dark, not pale green.
1- Drain the liquid from the jars, then rinse the olives well.
2- dry the olives well on a clean towel or by using kitchen paper.

To store the olives for a long time outside, in the pantry, there are two methods:
A- if you have a lot of olive oil, you just fill a clean and dry jar with the olives, then fill with the olive oil and seal. They will keep for a year or more.
But if you do not have a lot of oil, then you do the following:
B- Put the dry olives in a big dish, then drizzle well with extra virgin organic oil. Make sure all the olives are coated with the oil. Then put in a clean dry jars. The jars have to be small (like in the photo), so when you open one, you will use it in few days. If you use a big jar, the olives will go off, after a week or so from opening. So I highly recommend that you use small jars for this process. Then leave the jars sanding for a week, (see photo number 2.) The second week, turn the jars upside down and leave them like that for another week (see photo number 3). The third week repeat again, fourth week, upside down again. You have to do this for at least three months. after that once in a while you turn them. When you do this, the jars have to be in a covered place away from light. The olives will keep for more than a year and you do not have to use a lot of oil. The process is tedious but for me it is ok. Once the jar is open put in the fridge and use within few days.

part3 part3a part3b

I have to say, these fermented olives are the tastiest olives I’ve ever eaten. You will not regret trying this recipe.

Thank you Feli Deli for sharing your recipe (adapted from a traditional recipe from her local farmers in Italy) at Pure Portugal – Living the Good Life facebook group, and for allowing us to post it on the blog.

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